Placement RateThere’s never enough time.

You’re making countless candidate calls every day, interviewing candidates left and right, coordinating schedules between your hiring managers and candidates while addressing conflicts as they (invariably) arise.

You’re a recruiting machine – but there is only so much time in the day. After you have the volume game down, in order to improve your recruiting, you have to increase your fill rate percentage.

You can’t add hours to the day, but you can use these 4 communication tips to make more placements and increase your fill to interview ratio.

1) Increase your interview standards. Don’t waste precious time on unqualified candidates. You’re not a career coach, you’re here to find top talent. Take a look at your interviewing methodology. Is it efficient? Are you asking the right questions? Your phone screens should get your talent senses tingling. Trust your instincts. Also, be careful with candidates that don’t meet your “regular” recruiting needs. If you generally recruit software developers, be careful about spending time with QA manager. You need to spend 99% of your time with candidates and on jobs that you have open or will have open in the very near future. Increasing your interview standards is not about increasing “seniority” of your candidates – it’s about talking to only the right candidates, whatever that means to your company and for your open job requisitions.

2) Make more warm calls. You need more referrals. Don’t be afraid to ask every candidate who they know. Giving a name makes prospects more willing to talk to you. By making more warm calls and less cold calls, you’ll find yourself with a larger candidate pool. But it’s not the size of the pool that we’re worried about here – it’s the depth and the quality. To increase your fill-to-interview rate, you need to build networks of related people. Branch out from each candidate and client to build networks of highly connected relationships. To be highly successful as a recruiter, you want to be the center of a large, tightly interconnected network of people and companies. The degrees of separation between your candidates and clients is often a determining factor in the hiring process.

3) Frame your offers outside of compensation. Are you losing prospects because the position doesn’t sound appealing? You might not have a good understanding of the job’s perks and the industry it comes from. Learn about any intangible benefits and frame the offer as a career opportunity for the candidate, not a chance for more money. But in order to do this successfully, you have to understand the candidate’s (and hiring manager’s) deep motivating factors. Having a candidate or client back out at the last second skewers your placement rate, as you had probably been spending the better part of a week getting the two sides together. To have failure at the end of a very time intensive recruitment process absolutely kills your ratios and wastes time. Remember, get candidates and clients out of the process as soon as possible if you know it won’t work out. Your time is too precious to NOT spend time upfront understanding the real motivating factors and intentions.

4) Live in the Present Are you living in the past? Do you not know how to use social media sites like Linkedin to source and screen your candidates? But you may also be living in the future… Do you “live” on Linkedin and spend time tweeting, but not enough time really talking to people and forming relationships? Live in the present: Keep up to date with the latest tech innovations, but use them wisely. Use social media to drive prospects to you by establishing an online presence. Build a rapport with your connections and cultivate valuable leads. But most importantly, use social sites to understand your candidates and hiring managers and use that knowledge to become more effective at your real job – developing real relationships and business.

Learn to work smarter, not longer. Streamline your recruitment process and use all your available tools. Most importantly, value your own time and make sure you are making the most of every minute of your day.

You can be an effective recruiter by working hard and making a lot of calls and connections. You can also be successful by being a lazy recruiter and working smart. But the best recruiters know how to use their time wisely. They make more placements by not only increasing their activity, but by watching their own placement metrics and fill ratios. If you constantly improve these metrics while building your aggregate activity and connections, you’ll go far in the recruiting profession.

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